A security expert has said a provision in the Ekiti Amotekun bill that shields the security outfit’s personnel from legal action is dangerous, noting that “if you give guns to people they need constant checks.”
This is just as Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti governments have all approved the proposal for the creation of Amotekun security outfit.
At press time Wednesday, the Lagos and Osun state governments were yet to approve the Amotekun bill just as the Oyo State House of Assembly said it will consider the operational legal framework for the security outfit Thursday.
Meanwhile, as the Ekiti State House of Assembly considers the bill that would give legal backing to Amotekun Corps, an aspect of the bill stipulates that the operatives cannot be sued.
Article 34, Part IV, under Miscellaneous provisions in, states: “Acts done in the course of duty by any member of the Board, staff of the Agency or member of the Ekiti State Amotekun Corps is, hereby, excluded from liability and shall not be sued in his or her personal capacity for any lawful act done in the course of duty.”
It was gathered that the drafters deliberately inserted this section to insulate officials from the encumbrances of legal procedures in the course of discharging their duty.
Another part of the bill that gives enormous powers to Amotekun operatives is in Article 36 under the title: Obstruction of Amotekun Corps Member in the performance of his duty.
This article stipulates: “Any person who willfully hinders, delays, obstructs or assaults a member of the Ekiti State Amotekun Corps in the course of the exercise of his lawful duties under this Law shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of one month or to a fine not exceeding N250,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
It’s dangerous to insulate operatives from prosecution
However, a security expert, Mr. James Ajulo, advised the lawmakers to whittle down the bill grant sweeping powers to the outfit.
Ajulo in a chat with Vanguard said: “Beautiful as this section of the bill may look, there is a need for the legislators to give the whole bill a holistic and specific review, to reduce these powers.
“Insulating them from prosecution has removed checks. When you give guns to people they need constant checks.”